Liberal studies does art

Charcoal, oil paint and galkyd, fiber paper, bronze and steel, bamboo, cloth and hemp. These and more are examples the diversity of tools used in the Hutchins Community Art Show on campus Wednesday and Thursday can only speak wonders to the diversity of the exhibits themselves.

The event, which was organized by students enrolled in a special one-unit course at Sonoma State University, Liberal Studies 342, included various art pieces submitted by students from all over campus. 

While the overall theme of the show, “A Day in the Life,” seems a bit ambiguous at first sight, with a vague title allowed students to expand on a vast number of subjects and scenery.

Among a number of hand-made art pieces, one entry by Mariam Rahmaoui, a junior at Sonoma State in the psychology department, stood out as a flash of culture. Rahmaoui decorated a table with numerous colorful examples of hand-made Moroccan traditions. 

Long dresses in beautiful shades of purple, yellow and pink with embellished matching belts were accompanied by candlestick holders and jewelry boxes with gold accents.

“I wanted to bring the Moroccan world to campus,” said Rahmaoui. “I love the traditional look of the Moroccan culture and thought it would bring a different art form to the show.”

Another hand-made art piece included the finished product of two long bows by Shawn Kelley, the president of the archery club at Sonoma State. 

Kelley’s bows, measuring at least 4 feet in length, were constructed using a combination of white and dark oak, bamboo and hemp cord.

No two submissions were similar in this show. One exhibit titled “Bog of Memories” with no artist name listed, portrayed the brain similar to a topographical map suggesting that the viewer navigated each nook and cranny, each valley and river, of the piece. Another artist, senior Rachel Jackson, showed her skills with wood cut prints featuring contrasting color opposites, green and pink.

Using wood cut prints also allowed Jackson to alter the images, giving them a three dimensional effect. 

Themes in the show took a comical turn with the submission of “Hold on, let me put on my duck lips” by Jessica Levey, which featured the demanding and delicate task of making three bronze castings of human mouths in the shape of duck lips.

Many entries existed as a series of black and white photographs printed on fiber paper. 

Emily Hutchins, a senior in the Hutchins program, used a naked female model staged in different poses in a shower to further embrace the power of shadows in a photo.

“These photos were originally just a lighting project but it’s hard to ignore the mystery behind each shot,” said Hutchins.

With the shots each focusing on a different part of the human body, the untitled entry left the viewers with an appreciation for the intriguing light and dark silhouettes created.

Another photography entry named “SF Area Photos,” featured the photo skills of Gloria Maldonado, who also utilized the effects of black and white only instead using stone as the subject. 

Maldonado was also heavily involved in the setup of the event as the director and project manager of the art show. 

Students in the LIBS 342 course worked together to facilitate the show. Donors helped bring dessert and coffee for the event as well as musical entertainment, which is a first for this art show.

Once viewers made it around the room through all of the art exhibits, they were met with dessert and coffee as the sounds of the sea began to fill the room. 

Faith Ako and her two guitar accompanists filled Ballroom B on the third floor of the Student Center with traditional Hawaiian folk songs.